By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday assured that the United States will not disengage from Afghanistan despite withdrawing its troops from the country.
“We’ve also been clear that even as our forces are drawing down and pulling out of Afghanistan, we are not withdrawing, we are not disengaging,” Blinken said at a press conference in London with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“We intend to be very active diplomatically in terms of trying to advance negotiations in a political settlement between the government of Afghanistan, the Taliban and other key parties,” Blinken said.
The US is trying to advance negotiations in a political settlement between the Afghan government and Taliban, Blinken said.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that they discussed a whole range of security issues, including Iran, Afghanistan, continuing concerns about Russia, in particular on the border with Ukraine.
“We certainly see the priority as protecting our troops in the period between now and September, making sure that we preserve the ability to deal with counterterrorism, that the gains that were hard won in Afghanistan are not lost, and also ultimately promoting dialogue and a peace process that benefits all Afghans and leaves Afghanistan as stable as possible, as inclusive as possible,” Raab said.
Biden last month announced that the remaining 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan would leave by September 11.
Other NATO allies confirmed that they would follow suit, including the UK, which is to begin withdrawing its remaining 750 military trainers this month.
Back in Kabul, efforts are underway to build political consensus around the peace process as US troops are withdrawing.
As part of these efforts, President Ghani met with political parties on Monday and discussed the “new chapter” following the withdrawal of foreign forces, the Presidential Palace said.
The key is to achieve a national consensus and preserve Afghanistan’s impartiality at the regional and international level, President Ghani said at the meeting, according to Presidential Palace.